After getting out of bed every day, you have trained your children to have a bath before going to school. They have done it diligently without questioning and without fail every day. Then come the teenage years and suddenly the ritual is tossed out by your teenager.
“Why do I have to keep reminding him to have a bath?”
“Why do they skip bathing so easily?”
“Why do they have a bath whenever they want and not in the morning like they were doing when they were children?”
“NBD - No bath Day, this is my teenage son’s response on some days”
Many things change when the children hit the troubling teenage period and the bathing ritual is one of them. You want them to have a bath before breakfast and they will tell you they will do it after breakfast. After breakfast becomes after lunch, after lunch morphs to ‘in the evening” and when evening comes, “What is the point of doing it now. I will do it tomorrow”
That mind has started thinking independently now and they will question everything that you say and that can be frustrating for parents who want obedience above all else.
“Why should I bathe in the morning, what can’t I do it later?” does not really have a good answer.
If I skip bathing on Sundays the world will not fall apart” does not have a good comeback.
This does not of course apply to all teenagers. Many of them conscientiously follow their parents model of bathing before breakfast. Sometimes their stand on bathing is just a small rebellion against adults in their lives.
Teenagers are extremely sensitive to peer pressure. They are conscious of body smells and if they smell badly their friends would not hesitate to tell them in a brutal manner. Some teenagers who sweat a lot tend to start bathing twice a day.
As a parent, it is our job to make them aware of the importance of hygiene and bathing regularly if not every day. Puberty generally makes the body oily and more sweaty. Hence making them aware that their skin issues (pimples, rashes etc) could be better solved with hygiene is one way of tackling it.
But if they skip bathing once in a while due to laziness, or have a bath at a different time of the day than you, perhaps it would do good for the parent to step back and allow them the indulgence of choice and the perks of a teenager.